Protecting Your Property During Bankruptcy

Some of the biggest questions people have about bankruptcy concern the fate of their assets:

"What will happen to my assets?"

"What property can I keep?"

"Will I lose everything?"

These are valid questions that the attorneys at Vail A. Kaufman, P.A., can help you answer. Located in Greenbelt, Maryland, we invite you to contact us today by calling 800-724-1621 or 301-850-2470 to schedule a free consultation.

We Know How Bankruptcy Exemptions Work

In all types of consumer bankruptcy, filers have an option of retaining important assets. These may include their:

  • Home equity
  • Clothing and jewelry
  • Car equity
  • Household items, including appliances, books and furniture
  • "Tools of the trade" required for their job
  • IRS-qualified retirement accounts, including pensions, IRAs and 401(k)s
  • Public benefits, such as unemployment and Social Security
  • Personal injury judgments
  • Workers' compensation payments

While this list sounds all encompassing, some caution is needed. In Maryland, exemptions have dollar-amount limits. For instance, your personal equity (the amount you own) of your home is exempt, but only to a value of $21,625. If you are married, the exemption does not double. As the value of homes in Maryland begins to rise again, close attention must be paid to this item.

Likewise, you may exempt cash and property up to $6,000 in value, as well as an additional personal property exemption of up to $5,000. Also, if you own any property that is necessary for you to earn your income, an additional tools of the trade exemption is available at $5,000.

Fortunately, these restrictions do not extend to retirement accounts, pensions, or public benefits such as Social Security or public assistance. Unemployment compensation and workers' compensation are fully exempt.

Which Bankruptcy Is Better For Keeping Property, Chapter 7 Or Chapter 13?

For most people who qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the exemptions are great enough that filers can keep many, if not all, of their possessions. Many people who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy keep their homes and automobiles after eliminating their debts.

For people who have an income and need to retain property beyond the Maryland exemption amounts, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually a better option. Filers can eliminate some debts and consolidate others into monthly payments as part of a three- to five-year repayment. Among the debts that may be reduced or eliminated are credit card debts, car loans and second mortgages.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Whatever situation sounds best to you, be sure to discuss it with one of our experienced Maryland bankruptcy attorneys. At Vail A. Kaufman, P.A., our lawyers have the experience and knowledge required to help you retain the most of your most important property in any consumer bankruptcy.

To discuss your concerns and options in a free consultation, contact us online or by calling 800-724-1621 or 301-850-2470 today. Vail A. Kaufman, P.A., maintains offices in Greenbelt and Columbia, Maryland.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.